Listen to the live interview Episode #464 Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax: http://tobtr.com/9980825
GETTING TO KNOW CHASING RAIN
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Adam Briel & Greg Milam from the band Chasing Rain
ADAM: We are located out in the western suburbs of Chicago. The music scene here has a rich history of music but it seems like the suburban markets are saturated with cover bands. Don’t get me wrong, I love cover bands, but there needs to be a better outlet for original bands. In Chicago, you have quite a few original venues but building a fanbase in the city of Chicago is easier said than done when you live in the burbs. Some of the really cool original venues in Chicago are the “Elbow Room” and “Reggies” which always have some really cool bands playing.
GREG: Yeah, there’s nothing like playing your own material, but it’s hard to get yourself heard and to be given a chance. That’s why we’re so grateful for American Pride Magazine and others who are out there giving exposure to the up and comers and the indie artists. It’s great to have a platform to learn about new artists.
GREG: I think the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that this is not a one person vision.
Each of us brought our thoughts and ideas to make the final product that you hear. Steve Hinz, our drummer, is an amazingly creative and talented guy who I’ve been playing with for almost 20 years. The bass tracks that you hear on the album are by our good friend and long time band mate Brian Adamson. Brian had to relocate and we were so fortunate to be able land Michael Gros who’s been with us for almost a year. Mike is a ninja on the 4 and 5 string and as it turns out, we had a lot of mutual friends and people we knew from our younger days. Mike was another connection we made through Bandmix. I think we should ask them for money because we are giving them so many plugs. I bring the guitar and Adam lays down the growl on the mic. It never feels like a Chasing Rain song until all our ideas come together.
ADAM: What you can expect from our music is a very riff heavy structure.
Pretty much all our songs on our album starts out with some sort of opening riff meant to grab your attention followed by unique / moving bass lines and some “growly” vocals. You can count on a message in every song. Just like in “Happiness” we are always asking questions and exploring life and faith in our songs.
ADAM: As far as another album goes, we have so much new material that is really good.
We can’t wait to get back in the studio and start recording again. We are also working on an acoustic sessions album which will have some originals, some “unplugged” versions of some of the songs from this current album and possibly a few covers. I am really excited for people to hear how we are growing musically on a day to day basis
GREG: I actually wrote Happiness with my daughter in mind. When she was younger she really struggled with anxiety, self doubt, and bouts of depression. She always felt like the weight of the world was on her and never believed that she could live up to expectations. Many people have these same struggles…life is hard. For some people, it’s a battle everyday to try and look past the moments of stress, fear and being overwhelmed and find the thing that can bring them true peace and happiness.
ADAM: In the lyrics, we talk about lying in bed thinking “Is there somewhere new left to run?” We say ‘It’s times like these you wish your life was more.” It’s the struggle to find something that is missing. You can’t live in the fleeting moment, whether it’s good or bad, and let that define you. We’ve found the answer to our Happiness and we hope this song helps people to search for theirs.
The cool thing about this song is, I heard a demo version of Happiness on Bandmix when I was looking for a band to join. I must have listened to a hundred different bands and countless songs on each band’s page but this one stood out. I heard the opening riff and was immediately hooked. The song was pretty much written when I auditioned but it was missing a chorus. When I came in to audition I sang what I had written for the chorus and it stuck! This is also the first song we recorded for our album so this will always hold a special spot in my heart.
ADAM: It’s probably just me, but I like the idea of the “good old days” when you were signed to a record label, the label helped you promote, get albums in stores and made videos etc. Now we have to do everything ourselves…and it’s not all that fun. The reality is it takes a lot of work to update social media daily, do all the promotions, try to book gigs, coordinate schedules with the band for rehearsals & gigs all while working a full-time job and balance that with family. I need someone to do all that for me.
I also find it upsetting that you can’t count on record sales anymore. I really like having a physical copy of my favorite bands and that is going away for the music consuming society. Most people prefer to just download a song rather than buy an album…sad. I guess it comes down to…I just want to be a Rockstar in the 70’s & 80’s.
GREG: All of us in the band have had many experiences in music. We’ve played and work with a lot of talented people over the years and it’s been a good ride. Steve and Mike have been able to go out on tour here in the states and overseas, Adam has played out all over and I’ve had my share of stage time. But coming together for Chasing Rain has meant more to us than any of those previous endeavors. Hopefully, our music will connect with people. All of the ups and downs are real. The triumphs and struggles are things we deal with every day. Not to be too corny about it, but it’s how we got our name. It’s not the droughts that define you…look for the rain in your life and be refreshed. We’re all Chasing Rain!
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
ADAM: Well, if it could be anyone…I’d say Prince. He was such a prolific songwriter and musician I would want to ask him lots of questions on how he wrote his songs, his process etc. If we are talking about someone who is alive, I would say Bear or Bo Rinehart from “Needtobreathe.” They are my favorite band and the songs they write just move me. I’ve met them before but didn’t have much time to talk, but they all seem like real cool down to earth guys. Also, they take bands that really like out on tour with them and that would be a dream come true to do a tour with “Needtobreath!” I mean, I’d be thrilled even if I was only able to play a song or two as an opener.
For Mike it would be Victor Wooten. There’s no one better in his book! Not only is he the world’s finest bassist, but also he has an outlook on musicianship and how it ties into spirituality that is just amazing.
GREG: For me, I would choose Tommy Shaw. Styx is my families favorite “adopted” band and I would love to be able to tell him how many times we’ve loaded up the car to go see them. We’ve had many hours of family bonding time singing out all their hits. There’s not a lot of music out there that bridges the age gap and musical tastes between me, my wife and my kids…but Styx sure is one of them!
Steve would kill me if I didn’t mention the drummer from Journey as his choice. Steve Smith has probably influenced him the most in playing style over the years. Relaying elements of jazz and rock combined with creative fills, he is unquestionably the best all-around drummer out there.